PG&E to restructure board amid bankruptcy

Following last month’s bankruptcy filing, PG&E has announced it will soon restructure its board of directors and half of the current members will not seek reelection.

Currently, PG&E has a 10-member board. By the time of the company’s annual shareholder meeting, which is set for May 21, the board will include 11 members who are not employees of PG&E, the utility stated in a press release.

It is unclear how many total directors will be on the restructured board. The utility said only five of the current directors would seek to keep their seats on the board.

“We fully understand that PG&E must re-earn trust and credibility with its customers, regulators, the communities it serves and all of its stakeholders,” the company said in a statement. “We recognize the importance of adding fresh perspectives to the board to help address the serious challenges the business faces.”

PG&E had been facing pressure recently to replace its board. The hedge fund BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, a PG&E shareholder, demanded that all members of the board be ousted.

BlueMountain, which also argued the bankruptcy filing was not necessary, chastised the PG&E board last month in an open letter to shareholders.

“On the current board’s watch, Northern California has been ravaged by wildfires; victims have endured unimaginable loss,” BlueMountain stated in the open letter. “Half of the current board presided during the San Bruno pipeline explosion, for which the company was found criminally liable. Recently, the company has been accused of falsifying tens of thousands of safety records. The current board is accountable for these failures. It is well past time for a change.”

BlueMountain plans to nominate a new slate of board members by Feb. 21.

PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 29. The company faces billions of dollars in liabilities for involvement in California wildfires.

Earlier in January, PG&E CEO Geisha Williams resigned. John R. Simon has taken over as interim CEO as the company searches for a new chief executive. 

PG&E stock is currently trading at above $14 after having fallen below $10 last month. In early November, PG&E shares were nearly $50.

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